7 COMMON MONEY MISTAKES TO AVOID (PART 2)
MISTAKE # 5:
INVESTING IN THE WRONG PRODUCTS
There are various kinds of investment products in the market. Some generate low profit and are of low risk and some would allow us to have hefty profits but with high risk. However, in order for us to identify the right product that suits our investment appetite, we must take some time to understand the market that we are going into, the risk and returns, and the procedure of trading and investing. One simple way is to log on to the InvestSmart website (www.investsmartsc.my) and read the many articles about financial literacy that the SC has prepared.
There is also the challenge of spotting illegal investment products. Scammers are constantly looking for gullible investors and if we do not do proper research on where we are about to put our money, we might end up losing our investment. Aside from the InvestSmart website, there are various sources that provide information about investing. For example, you can go to the Bursa Malaysia website (www.bursamalaysia.com) to learn more about investing or visit the Securities Commission Malaysia website (www.sc.com.my) to check on the legality of an investment scheme.
FAILING TO PAY OFF DEBT
The next best step to take after paying yourself first is to pay off your credit card debt. Although the option to pay a minimum of the debt is available, you should always try your very best to pay the full amount owed. This way you will be able to avoid the late interest charges on the owed balance. Imagine if you paid off a credit card debt that charges 18% interest per annum, you indirectly stand to gain 18% in savings annually. Not many investment products can offer a
return rate that high! By paying off your credit card debts, you then can devote other portions of your cash to investments.
account. Apart from that, we constantly overspend due to peer pressure and consumer temptation that surround us on a daily basis. Since purchasing is made so easy, we tend to fall into the trap of impulse spending, grabbing whatever we desire without thinking through whether it is a need or a want. We are, to a certain extent, exposed to mild brainwashing with TV commercials, newspaper ads, sale circulars, and flashy shopping malls promoting the lifestyles adopted by the rich and famous, which of course involve having the latest gadgets and gizmos.
The ability to flaunt our gadgets and personal wealth not only extinguishes humility within ourselves but also makes us fall into the mistake of spending exorbitantly and unnecessarily. If we do not jump on the bandwagon, we will be considered left out of today’s scene. If we find that at the end of each month, after servicing our car loans, housing loans, credit card bills and other utility bills, the net salary that goes into our bank account is usually insufficient or in a deficit, we must realise that we have been spending beyond our means.
FOCUSING TOO MUCH ON MONEY MATTERS
All the above tells us to focus on our finances. However, on the other extreme, we must also not be too absorbed in accumulating our wealth to the extent that we lose sight of other priorities in our lives. While we plan our financial health, we must not neglect our spiritual satisfaction, health, family and friends, career satisfaction and fulfilling interests.
Without other contentment and pleasure, even the richest man on Earth would not be happy.
At the end of the day, we must remind ourselves to find the balance between accumulating wealth and enjoying that wealth according to our means. We must be committed in our efforts to improve our financial health. Unless we are truly committed to creating wealth, chances are wealth will remain estranged to us.
7 Common Money Mistakes and What You Can Do To Avoid Them